Image credits: TapioKettunen
Are you a cyclist? If so, are you one of the many who carefully puts old faithful into storage over the winter months, convinced that all that rain, snow and ice is just unsuitable for biking? Well, this Finnish town is living proof that winter cycling is perfectly possible with the right planning and infrastructure, and making us feel a little soft for getting in the car at the sight of a little snow.
Pekka Tahkola, an urban well-being engineer for Navico Ltd. and a cycling coordinator for the City of Oulu, took a photo of the local school’s bicycle parking lot in -17C recently to show that no matter what the conditions, nothing is keeping these kids off their bikes.
Image credits: pekkatahkola
Because although it might seem strange for some parents to let their kids loose on two wheels, exposed to the icy cold of a northern winter, here in Finland it’s a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do. “We organized a study tour for participants from southern Finland for them to see how cycling to school is taken care of in our city,” Pekka told the informative environmental website MNN. “We visited a couple of schools and also spoke a lot with local teachers and principals. I’m pretty sure this school is among the best ones. It is definitely not the only one, and there are numerous schools in Oulu where the majority of kids cycle and walk to school.”
“It’s normal; always been like that. I cycled and kicksledded to school when I was a kid, too,” he says. “And it’s the same thing even in minus 30 C.”